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Protests continue across country

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 19 October, 2021 12:00 AM
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Protests continue across country

People from all walks of life continued their protests across the country on Monday, denouncing the barbaric attacks on Hindu temples, idols and houses.

The protesters gave a 24-hour ultimatum to the home minister to take action against the culprits responsible for the attacks on the Hindus carried out in different places of the country.

They also warned not to stop the ongoing protests unless their demand is met by the deadline.

Students of Dhaka University blocked Shahbagh intersection, protesting vandalism of Hindu temples during the celebrations of Durga Puja, the biggest festival of Hindu community.

The agitators blocked the key intersection in the capital and started demonstrations around 10:00am.

Hundreds of vehicles got stuck due to the demonstrations, causing severe traffic congestion at Shahbagh, Science Lab, Elephant Road, Bangla Motor and adjacent areas.

The protesters also placed a seven-point demand. The demands include formation of a special tribunal to try those involved in the incident and probing the negligence of the local administration during the puja celebrations. Other demands are: exemplary punishment for the culprits involved in the attacks, formation of a separate ministry and a commission for the minority communities of the country, compensation for the victim families and their businesses, treatment of those injured in the attacks and rebuilding the damaged temples, houses, and other establishments, enactment of a law to ensure highest punishment for communal attacks,  allocation of 15 percent of the country's GDP for minority communities and revamping Hindu Religious Welfare Trust and release of all the Hindus arrested since October 13 incident.

Later, the agitators lifted their blockade around 2:00pm and gave a 24-hour ultimatum to the home minister to take action against the people behind the barbaric attacks on the Hindus.

At a protest rally in the capital, journalist leaders said a vested quarter carried out the attacks on Hindus to destroy the spirit of the liberation war and non-communal Bangladesh.

The journalist leaders made the remarks while addressing a protest rally titled ‘Stand against the evil communal force’ on the premises of Jatiya Press Club around 12 noon.

Dhaka Union of Journalists (DUJ) organised the protest rally. The rally was organised to protest the attacks and violence in different parts of the country during Durga Puja celebrations.

Jatiya Press Club president Farida Yasmin told the rally that attacks on Hindu festival are unacceptable.

“The foundation on which Bangladesh was born suggests that communal harmony exists in the country. This country has become independent so that people can live in harmony with everyone but a quarter is active to destroy this harmony.  “Be careful against them.”

Former BFUJ president Manjurul Ahsan Bulbul said a quarter wants to turn the country into a fanatical state. Those who want to destabilise country should be identified and be brought to book, he added.

Former secretary general of BFUJ Omar Farooq said he had spoken to people at the scene and said the attackers were outsiders. A cycle is active to destabilize the country.

Leaders of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) said they will continue protests until punishment is meted out to those involved in the attack on Hindu temples and houses.

ISKCON leaders gave the warning at a human chain programme held in front of the National Press Club in the capital.

ISKCON general secretary Charuchandra Das Brahmachari said, “Such incidents will never stop unless exemplary punishment is given to the perpetrators of the attacks on Hindus.

Cumilla: A delegation of Dhaka University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) visited Puja Mandap at Nanua Dighirpar and Thakurpara’s Rakshamoye Kali Mandir in Cumilla.

They have demanded punishment for the perpetrators of the communal violence in the country.

A 20-member DUTA delegation first visited Nanua Dighirpar area at 12 noon.

Later, DUTA leaders at a rally announced that they will form a human chain on Tuesday to protest the barbaric attacks on Hindus and submit a memorandum to the home minister.

Meanwhile, a public rally was held at Cumilla Town Hall to maintain communal harmony and peace in  Cumilla.

The rally was organised at the initiative of Freedom Fighter and Metropolitan Awami League President AKM Bahauddin Bahar MP from Cumilla Sadar.

Chattogram: A teacher of Chittagong University (CU) stood in front of Joy Bangla sculpture on the campus, wearing a blindfold, to protest violence and attacks on Hindu temples and puja mandaps.

Associate professor of the Geography and Environment Department Md Atikur Rahman covered his eyes with a black cloth and stood in front of the sculpture from 10:00am to 11:00am.

He was also holding a placard that reads: “Protest and condemnation against countrywide attacks on the houses and temples of the Hindu community”.

Rajshahi: Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD) brought out a procession and held a rally in the city, protesting the attacks on Hindu temples and houses in different parts of the country.

JSD leaders and activists brought out a protest procession from Alupatti to Sahebbazar Zero point in the city and then held a rally in front of Rajshahi Press Club around 12:00 noon.     

At the rally, Rajshahi Metropolitan JSD president Abdullah Al Masud Shibli said communal political forces deliberately spread rumors and attacked Hindu temples and houses to disrupt Bangladesh’s development and progress.

He demanded that the authorities immediately arrest perpetrators of the attack on Hindus and give the exemplary punishment.

Bagerhat: Different organisations formed human chain in Bagerhat, protesting vandalism of Hindu temples in different parts of the country including Cumilla, Noakhali during Durga Puja celebrations.

ISKCON and Jatiya Hindu Mahajot jointly organised the hour-long program in front of Bagerhat Press Club at 11:00am.

Hundreds of people, including women from the Hindu community, joined the programme. Later, they submitted memorandum to the Prime Minister through the Deputy Commissioner of Bagerhat, demanding fair trial over the attacks on Hindus. 

Dinajpur: More than five hundred people took part in a human chain organised by the ISKCON to protest the attacks, vandalism of Hindu temples in several districts of the country.

The human chain programme was arranged in front of Dinajpur Press Club around 10:15am.

Vikram Ram Das, principal of Sri Sri Radhakrishna Mandir ISKCON in Dinajpur, said the administration has to let people know why country's environment has been ruined.

 “People of Bangladesh believe in secularism. They never insult each other’s religion. The administration has to take responsibility for the vandalism of Hindu temples,” He said.

He also demanded that the government compensate the victims of the attacks.”

Nilphamari: Local people formed a human chain in the district town Nilphamari protesting the vandalism of Hindu temples and idols during Durga Puja celebrations.

The human chain programme was organised at Chowrangi intersection of the district town at the initiative of Nilphamari ISKCON Publicity Centre.

Different political parties and social organisations condemned the attacks on Hindus. In separate statements, they demanded that the authorities identify the culprits and bring them to justice.

A procession of anti-communal harmony will be held today (Tuesday) from Baitul Mukaram to Dhakeswari temple.

On 13 October, tension erupted across the country after the alleged desecration of the holy Quran at a puja mandapa in Nanuar Dighi of Cumilla city surfaced on the social media.

Following the incident, miscreants carried out attacks on puja mandaps, temples, houses, and business establishments of Hindu community in different districts of the country.